Former U.S. President Donald Trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who is on track to win the Republican nomination, attends a rally at Carolina University on February 10, 2024 in Conway, South Carolina.

(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Trump Appeals Presidential Immunity Claim to US Supreme Court

One watchdog responded by stressing that "Trump is NOT above the law."

Former Republican President Donald Trump on Monday asked the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court to block a federal appellate court panel's ruling from last week that he cannot claim immunity in a criminal case related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

The three-member panel from the District of Columbia Circuit—featuring one judge appointed by former GOP President George H.W. Bush and two appointed by Democratic President Joe Biden, who is seeking reelection—unanimously ruled against Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner.

In response to the Monday filing, the government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reiterated that "Trump is NOT above the law."

Trump's new filing complies with the deadline set by the panel, which "temporarily paused the case from going back to the trial court, giving him through Monday to ask the justices to keep it paused while he appeals," explainedMSNBC legal blogger Jordan Rubin, who called on the high court to "reject this and any other efforts to delay the trial further."

Rubin argued that the justices should also reject Trump's appeal on the merits, writing that "a court concerned with consequences should consider the effect of condoning broad presidential immunity."

"But even if the Supreme Court agrees with the D.C. Circuit's bottom line yet feels the need to add its own two cents or stamp on the historic matter, then taking the case up—as opposed to just rejecting it outright and sending it back for trial—could needlessly give Trump a win, effectively immunizing him in the process," he added.

While Trump was president, he appointed three justices to the nation's highest court, which previously punted on the case.

After Judge Tayna Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected Trump's immunity claim in December, Special Counsel Jack Smith—who is overseeing Trump's two federal cases because of the presidential contest—asked the Supreme Court to skip over the appeals level. However, the justices declined to do so.

Chutkan had initially scheduled the trial for March but recently postponed it while waiting for the appeals court's decision.

In addition to the two federal cases led by Smith, Trump has been indicted in two state-level criminal cases. He is also wrapped up in legal battles related to his eligibility to appear on the ballot or hold office after engaging in insurrection on January 6, 2021. The Supreme Court heard arguments for one of those disqualification cases last week.

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